Information for Admitted & Current Students

New Graduate Student Orientation

New students are expected to attend a new graduate student orientation session, usually on the Wednesday of the week before the Fall semester begins in August. Students will receive information about the program and department and university resources and required lab/field safety training.

Graduate Student Advising

Graduate students must meet regularly with their thesis advisers to be sure that they are making satisfactory progress.  At a minimum, each graduate student must meet with her/his adviser twice per semester: 

  • Phase I - in approximately week 12, the student meets with his/her adviser to review the student's progress and to plan coursework for the new semester.  Successful advising will result in removal of the registration hold, so that the student can enroll in classes such as BIOL580 and elective courses. This is the link to the the Phase I Advising Form.Opens in new window
  • Phase II - during the week before the new semester starts, the student meets with the adviser to discuss specific plans and goals for work on the research project and thesis during the upcoming semester.  The student will complete the BIOL598_599 Request Form (download Word document here), which will provide him/her with a permit to enroll in BIOL598 and/or BIOL599.  Additional instructions can be found herePDF File Opens in new window .

Students who have completed all their Study Plan coursework, both Thesis Committee Meetings, and all data collection (i.e., no more lab or field work required), may be eligible for enrollment in GRAD700 through UEE, which allows them to maintain continuous enrollment at a much-reduced cost.

Graduate Student Handbook

The Biology Graduate Student HandbookPDF File Opens in new window contains essential information for new and returning M.S. students, as well as guidelines, procedures and advice for completing the Study Plan, forming and meeting with one's thesis committee, and completing thesis requirements.

Biology Graduate Student Club (BGSC)

BGSC provides Biology graduate students with opportunities for social activities with other students and the faculty and staff. It serves as a venue for students to help each other with their research, including practicing conference presentations, and to work together on volunteer activities in the community. BGSC members also have the opportunity to be involved with inviting and hosting seminar speakers. Graduate students seeking funding from the Associated Students Incorporated-CSUF for travel to scientific meetings must also be members of BGSC. For more information about BGSC activities, contact one of the officers by email at